sharing skills in Germany

I have finally sorted the pictures from my trip to Germany a couple of weeks ago. We stayed with Michail and Katy Schutte greenwoodworkers, spent time exchanging skills and touring local sites looking at arts and crafts and generally being inspired.

Michail is an incredibly competent greenwoodworker with many skills only one of which is a growing competence at turning bowls on the pole lathe. We have worked together several times over the last 5 years and forged tools together both in Germany and in my forge at Edale. Each time we meet we work a little together and it is very interesting for both of us, he often recognises things in my technique that I was not aware that I did.

Our acomodation for the week was Michail’s lovely yurt and Nicola took some video and edited a short film for youtube.

Here is the video.

The week we were there was a festival of local arts and crafts and one of the biggest venues was the site I visited 2 years ago for the ‘kesurokai” festival when European and Japanese woodworkers worked together to build this magnificent tori. One of the beauties of traditional woodworking techniques is that the objects age beautifully where modern techniques often produce things which are beautiful when first made but are never as nice again. It was good to see the tori 2 years on looking beautiful.

I was inspired by these tarp and pole structures made by a local craftsman and I suspect I will use the idea myself whether at home or on my show demonstration stand in the future.

There were lots of good crafts but I particularly liked the work of one blacksmith who was making a mix of functional objects like gate hinges and sculptures like these.

We also had a taste of primitve woodworking with a visit to a local bronze age archaeological site where they are building a long house using traditional techniques and a mix of stone and bronze tools.

This sort of trip provides me with inspiration for years to come and often it takes many months before I realise what was the most valuable part. I am still making replicas of bowls that I saw in the medieval museum in Lubeck that I visited with Michail 4 years ago, time will tell what the value of this trip was but it was also great fun to share with other inspiring people.

Here is Michail and Katy’s website.

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